Taking notes: Donations, journalists, a US election campaign

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In the run-up to the US election, journalists have been coming under more scrutiny for being biased. Now, data from the Federal Election Commission on campaign contributions has revealed that journalists who are covering and editing politics donated to campaigns during the campaign cycle. On Oct. 17, The Center for Public Integrity or CPI released […]

Will to Greatness: Reflections of an ex-patriot

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  For some weeks now I have been in Pakistan on a visit from New York. I have been surprised in no small measure on the take friends and relatives have on the state of things. Invariably they paint a despondent picture—corrupt politicians, rampant religiosity, honor killings, a military that still throws its weight around […]

Let’s talk science!

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An open letter to Dr. Parvez Hoodbhoy, by Sheikh Fayaz Dear Dr. Parvez Hoodbhoy, I hope that this humble piece of writing finds you in good spirits. It is indeed a matter of enormous gratification for me to address this piece to an eminent writer like you. You have made unparalleled contributions to a wide […]

The cadets who paid the price

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Three gunmen with AK-47s, wearing suicide vests, stormed into New Sariab Police Training College on Monday night, killing more than 61 and injuring dozens, a majority of them cadets. After an operation by the army, FC and police, they were neutralized. Two of them detonated themselves and one was killed. Communication intercepts showed the attack […]

The US presidential race of 2016, not a model of civility

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The 1992 presidential race between President George H. Bush and Governor Bill Clinton had been contentious, even bitter. The incumbent President Bush was eventually defeated. When the newly installed president, Clinton, entered the White House, following his inauguration on January 20, 1993, he had a pleasant surprise waiting for him. The outgoing president had left […]

Modi and Brahamdagh

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For the fast few months India highlighted the Baloch cause through a separatist leader, Brahamdagh Bugti, who is in exile in Switzerland. Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued statements about what he said were atrocities in Balochistan in what was interpreted as a bid to avert the world’s attention from an entire new generation of resentful […]

Sectarian violence surges in Pakistan and Afghanistan

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After a decline in scale and casualties, the anti-Shia sectarian violence is once again resurging in Pakistan. In the last two weeks, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) Al-Alami, an anti-Shia extremist outfit, has claimed responsibility for the murder of four Hazara Shia women in Quetta and the attack on an imambargah in Karachi. During the same period, two deadly attacks […]

Speaking truth to power in Pakistan

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On October 6, Pakistan’s oldest and most esteemed English newspaper ran a dramatic story, written by their star columnist Cyril Almeida, headlined: “Act against militants or face international isolation, civilians tell military.” The piece claimed that, in recent undisclosed meetings, the civilian government had put pressure on the military to take indiscriminate action against militant […]

God and Country

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Is Pakistan moving away from being an ideological to a rational state?

Pakistan’s one-day side cricket leverage

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Nations, whether rich or poor, realize the political significance of sports. A victory over arch-rivals or a win in the international arena can pay handsome political dividend. Take, for example, Pakistan-India cricket matches that are mini wars in their own right, with bragging rights that come with victory. Indeed, cricket has also been used for […]

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